by | Sustainability (↓) | Consistency (↑) | 0 comment | 1 question

A foam based, rigid insulation board that comes in various thicknesses. It is very light-weight for its volume and has a kind of space-age aesthetic with a shiny, silver foil covering on either side.

Where and how is it used?

Celotex is used in the building industry to insulate external walls, roofs etc. It is far more efficient than rockwool type loft insulation.

What did you or someone else pay for it?


Why do you want to add it to the museum?

Its weird stuff. Super-efficient, energy (and space) saving material - yet clearly a highly un-organic, petro-chemical based product.

How was it made?

Is made in a factory

Is farmed

Is mass-produced

Is produced by local cottage industry

Is made to particular specifications

Is craft / hand-made

Is foraged

Is found

Is colonised

Is a service

Materials & Making

Who made or produced your commodity?


Who was paid to make it?

factory workers

What skills does it take to make it?

Not answered yet

Where was it made?

Not answered yet

What does it cost to make it?

Not answered yet

What is it made from?

Buying & Owning

Who decides how much it costs?

the market

Who or what assesses its quality?

British Board of Agrement, BRE Global, CE approval

Where is it sold?


Who or what sells it?

builders merchants, diy stores etc

How did this thing arrive from where it was made to where you got it?

on a truck

Where is it used?

in my loft

Where is it kept?

in my loft

How and by whom is it cared for?

I keep an occasional eye on it

How long will it last?

longer than one lifespan

Where will it go when it's finished with?

probably be recycled or landfill

What is it worth?

depending on thickness. £15 per sq ft for 100mm thickness

How do you and others value this commodity?

See the values contributed by visitors and those of the donor. And add your own values to this commodity.

Total times valued2
Positive (↑)Consistency
Negative (↓)Sustainability
Overall Positive109
Overall Negative-52
Controversy39 (0 = most controversial)

What do these numbers mean?

This data that we have collected over time in our database means nothing without interpretation. A relational database, which we are using here, is technology that enables designers of websites and software to compare, contrast, interrogate and infer relations within data. The act of designing a database is not objective but driven by the agency of its creators and owners.

Within the MoCC Collection data is used to help think through the relations between values, commodities and data. Can we describe our values using sliders and numbers? How do we infer meaning such as controversy from data?

Below is a brief explanation of the some calculations and how these help make decisions about what is shown on the site.

  • Controversy Score:
    (Total Positive Values) + (Total Negative Values)

    The closer the value is to zero the more controversial it is in relation to other commodities. Used to infer that values associated with one commodity divide opinion more than another.

  • Average Value Score (used in the sliders):
    (Total Positive for Value + Total Negative for Value) ÷ Total Times Valued

    Used to infer a collective value associated with a commodity.

How do you value this commodity?

To add your own values click VALUE THIS COMMODITY and move the sliders left and right to add your own values - then click SUBMIT
show donor's original values
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Questions and answers

Help to reveal unknown quantities, properties and uses of this commodity by answering this MoCC curator's questions.

Question: Is this a 'green' commodity?


Hi there,

My name is Jenny and I am a Commodity Consultant for MOCC.

In short, 'green' can encompass many things, especially when looking at manufactured goods. Many frequent concerns include; the carbon footprint of materials, their harmful or hazardous material contents, their global warming impact, greenhouse gas emissions, recycled material content, and the sustainability of the product.

I have prepared a little report for you on what I have found for these subjects, and I hope you will find it insightful.

Do Celotex boards contain any recycled materials?
Yes. Where boards contain glass fibre core reinforcement, it is made from recycled waste glass. About 90% of the aluminium in our foil facers comes from recyclable sources. Polyester polyols used in our boards can be produced from waste sources such as PET bottles used for fizzy drinks.
Is Celotex board packaging environmentally friendly?
We only offer shrink-wrap packaging on products requiring protection from rain while stored on site. Most boards feature banded cardboard packaging, which is easily recycled, and is biodegradable, minimising pollution from careless disposal.
Is PIR foam environmentally friendly?
PIR foam is an extremely effective insulant. Used appropriately, it will contribute to significant reductions in energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions.

That is good for the environment.
What is the Company's sustainability policy?
It is the policy of Celotex Limited that the Company will at all times pursue strategies within its operations, product development and commercial activities to assess and minimise negative impacts on the environment whilst adhering to the principles of sustainable development, and to expect similar environmental standards from its suppliers and contractors.
What is the GWP of Celotex?
All Celotex products have 'low' global warming potential (GWP). The definition of 'low' is less than five as set out by government and is referenced through industry publications such as the Code for Sustainable Homes.

Further information you may find interesting;

Polyisocyanurate, also referred to as PIR, polyiso, or ISO, is a thermoset plastic[1] typically produced as a foam and used as rigid thermal insulation. Its chemistry is similar to polyurethane (PUR) except that the proportion of methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) is higher and a polyester-derived polyol is used in the reaction instead of a polyether polyol. Catalysts and additives used in PIR formulations also differ from those used in PUR.
The reaction of MDI and polyol takes place at higher temperatures compared with the reaction temperature for the manufacture of PUR. At these elevated temperatures and in the presence of specific catalysts, MDI will first react with itself, producing a stiff, ring molecule, which is a reactive intermediate (a tri-isocyanate isocyanurate compound). Remaining MDI and the tri-isocyanate react with polyol to form a complex poly(urethane-isocyanurate) polymer (hence the use of the abbreviation PUI as an alternative to PIR), which is foamed in the presence of a suitable blowing agent. This isocyanurate polymer has a relatively strong molecular structure, because of the combination of strong chemical bonds, the ring structure of isocyanurate and high cross link density, each contributing to the greater stiffness than found in comparable polyurethanes. The greater bond strength also means these are more difficult to break, and as a result a PIR foam is chemically and thermally more stable: breakdown of isocyanurate bonds is reported to start above 200°C, compared with urethane at 100 to 110°C.
PIR typically has an MDI/polyol ratio, also called its index (based on isocyanate/polyol stoichiometry to produce urethane alone), higher than 180. By comparison PUR indices are normally around 100. As the index increases material stiffness but also brittleness also increase, although the correlation is not linear. Depending on the product application greater stiffness, chemical and/or thermal stability may be desirable. As such PIR manufacturers can offer multiple products with identical densities but different indices in an attempt to achieve optimal end use performance.

Polyisocyanurate insulation boards
PIR is typically produced as a foam and used as rigid thermal insulation. Its thermal conductivity has a typical value of 0.16 BTU*in/hr*ft2*°F (0.023 W/(m·K)) depending on the perimeter:area ratio.[2] PIR foam panels laminated with pure embossed aluminium foil are used for fabrication of pre-insulated duct that is used for heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. Prefabricated PIR sandwich panels are manufactured with corrosion-protected, corrugated steel facings bonded to a core of PIR foam and used extensively as roofing insulation and vertical walls (e.g. for warehousing, factories, office buildings etc.). Other typical uses for PIR foams include industrial and commercial pipe insulation, and carving/machining media (competing with expanded polystyrene and rigid polyurethane foams).
Effectiveness of the insulation of a building envelope can be compromised by gaps resulting from shrinkage of individual panels. Manufacturing criteria require that shrinkage be limited to less than 1%[citation needed] (previously 2%[citation needed]). Even when shrinkage is limited to substantially less than this limit, the resulting gaps around the perimeter of each panel can reduce insulation effectiveness, especially if the panels are assumed to provide a vapor/infiltration barrier. Multiple layers with staggered joints, ship lapped or tongue & groove joints greatly reduce these problems.
Health hazards
PIR insulation can be a mechanical irritant to skin, eyes, and upper respiratory system during fabrication (such as dust). No statistically significant increased risks of respiratory diseases have been found in studies[3]
Fire risk
PIR is at times stated to be fire retardant, or contain fire retardants, however these describe the results of "small scale tests" and "do not reflect [all] hazards under real fire conditions";[4] the extent of hazards from fire include not just resistance to fire but the scope for toxic byproducts from different fire scenarios. A 2011 study of fire toxicity of insulating materials at the University of Central Lancashire's Centre for Fire and Hazard Science studied PIR and other commonly used materials under more realistic and wide ranging conditions representative of a wider range of fire hazard, observing that most fire deaths resulted from toxic product inhalation. The study evaluated the degree to which toxic products were released, looking at toxicity, time-release profiles, and lethality of doses released, in a range of flaming, non-flaming, and poorly ventilated fires, and concluded that PIR generally released a considerably higher level of toxic products than the other insulating materials studied (PIR > PUR > EPS > PHF; glass and stone wools also studied).[5]

Celotex started in the 1920's - here is a brief history.
In September 2012 Saint-Gobain, the world leader in the habitat and construction markets, acquired Celotex.
In June 2011, Celotex achieved a ‘best in class’ lambda value of 0.021 W/mK for its FR range, which delivers better U-values and thinner solutions. This thermal performance improvement has been validated by the BBA.
In 2008 Celotex' plasterboard laminate PL4000 was launched offering the perfect solution for dry-lining applications. In 2008 FR4000 was launched and possessed Class O fire performance with a lambda value of 0.022 W/mK, which was not available from any other PIR manufacturer.
2002 saw Celotex and Sundeala de-merge and the Celotex Head Office was relocated to Hadleigh. Five years later Celotex launched a new range of thickness, with its 165mm and 200mm boards, earning the company a position as the provider of both the thinnest and thickest PIR insulation.

The 1990s saw Celotex Ltd acquire the Sundeala business out of administrative receivership for £3.2 million.
In 1980 the manufacture of rigid polyisocyanurate (PIR) foam insulation commenced at Hadleigh, which launched the Celotex double-R brand in the UK with Factory Mutual approval to highlight its excellent fire performance.
In the early 1970s the Celotex Corporation of America introduced a new product line which was proving very popular. The product in question was an isocyanurate foam ceiling tile. This product led directly to the 1978 decision to invest in a new PIR foam board manufacturing line at Hadleigh, Suffolk which would ultimately enable Celotex to develop our current product range
In 1966 the decision was taken to close the Stonebridge Park factory. The 14 acre site was sold and a site at Hadleigh, Suffolk was acquired. The new warehousing and distribution facility was opened in Hadleigh in 1968.
The continued growth of Celotex Limited, fuelled by post war reconstruction work, led to the installation of a new insulating board line to meet growing demand. This was followed a few years later by the introduction of a new hardboard manufacturing line.
By the 1930s sales in the UK were sufficiently high to encourage the Celotex Corporation to open a manufacturing plant in the UK at Stonebridge Park. By 1937 the Celotex Company of Great Britain was firmly established in the UK and had commenced manufacture at its new plant.
The Celotex Company of Great Britain started trading in 1925 from offices located in Australia House in The Strand, London. The business was a subsidiary of its parent company, the Celotex Corporation of America, and soon established itself as an importer of bagasse fiberboard insulation from the original Celotex manufacturing plant in Marrero in the state of Louisiana, America.

Celotex operates two manufacturing lines from our facility in Suffolk offering PIR insulation in an unrivalled range of product thicknesses.

With a unique in Europe ‘Free-Rise’ manufacturing line, Celotex is able to produce boards as low as 12mm up to 95mm thick in a high speed continuous process. This ‘Free Rise’ process allows us to offer thin solutions for thermal break applications which are not available from any other PIR manufacturer. A second ‘Restrained-Rise’ manufacturing line is dedicated to producing thicker panels and targets maximum efficiency for boards of 100-200mm thick.
Both production lines produce a range of thicknesses in the ‘standard’ panel sizes of 450x1200mm and 2400x1200mm.
Our Premium product range FR5000 is available in thicknesses from 25mm to 150mm at 2400x1200mm.
Flat Roofing products are available in thicknesses from 50-150mm in either 600x1200mm for bonded single-ply and built-up flat roofing applications and 2400x1200mm for mechanically fixed single ply systems.
By special request thicknesses between 12 and 200mm can be accommodated and lengths from 450 to 3000mm. Please contact you local Sales Manager for details.
The production facilities are complemented by a state of the art innovation and distribution centre linked to the production facilities by a high speed transfer bridge. The finished products are stored in an ordered system ready for efficient distribution throughout the UK and beyond.
What to expect from Celotex Manufacturing
• Two high speed PIR continuous lamination lines
• Unrivalled range and flexibility of production plants
• Single site manufacture and distribution
• Best in Class Solutions

Academics keep up the heat with Celotex
Energy efficiency is high on the list for educational institutions when they create new
buildings. Wanting to ensure that the University of Bedfordshire’s new Campus Centre in
Luton, part of a £140 million redevelopment of University facilities, had the best thermal
performance at the greatest value, Celotex CW4000 from the market leading
manufacturer of PIR (polyisocyanurate) insulation, Celotex, was chosen.
The significant investment is set to prepare the University for the future and ensure that
it meets the standards of facilities, sustainability and ethics expected of today’s
universities. The new building, one of the first phases of the plan, features a new student
social centre, a 400 seat lecture theatre as well as catering facilities and exhibition space.
The building was designed by architects at RMJM, who set out to achieve a BREEAM
rating of Excellent. To help achieve this, the building features natural ventilation and
energy saving technology. Particular attention was paid to the building’s overall thermal
efficiency. With its renowned performance, Celotex PIR insulation was well suited to
meet the challenge.
Built by main contractor Kier Marriott, specialist contractor Elliott Brickwork was tasked
with undertaking all masonry work as well as installing the Celotex CW4000 insulation
boards throughout the cavity walling – a task which required 2,500 square metres of the
company’s boards.
The first PIR insulation to achieve an A+ rating for its thermal efficiency, when compared
to the BRE Green Guide 2008, foil faced Celotex CW4000 with a lambda value of
0.022W/mK has a greater thermal efficiency than many other insulation solutions,
including many mineral fibre products. As it does not trap moisture, which can happen
with mineral fibre insulation, its effects are lasting, reducing heating needs, and thereby
carbon emissions significantly for the long term.
Manufactured at a board size of 1,200 mm x 450 mm to fit easily between cavity wall ties
and with excellent dimensional stability, Celotex CW4000 proved simple to install for
Elliott Brickwork’s operatives. After being fixed and set into place around brick and
blockwork, a thermal shell was created that was pivotal to the University’s new building
achieving a BREEAM rating of Excellent.
The new building provides a taste of the exciting developments to come at the
University of Bedfordshire’s Luton Campus. Crucially, the building meets the energy
standards desired by the University – at the right cost – thanks to Celotex’ CW4000
insulation, which proves a consistently popular choice with architects, specifiers and
designers across the UK.

Kentgate, Cumbria, a case study
Situated in Kendal's flourishing community on the edge of the Lake District, the luxurious riverside Kentgate apartment building is a stylish example of modern design. Built with ethical standards in mind, designers opted for a sustainable timber frame solution that made use of Celotex' excellent thermal performance.

Situated in Kendal's flourishing community on the edge of the Lake District, the luxurious riverside Kentgate apartment building is a stylish example of modern design. Built with ethical standards in mind, designers opted for a sustainable timber frame solution that made use of Celotex' excellent thermal performance.
Built on the banks of the river Kent, the development was positioned so that residents could enjoy views over the water or towards the hills of the Lake District some three miles away. Developed by house builder Russell Armer, designed by SMC Architects and built by Thomas Armstrong (Construction), the apartments are especially eye catching and built to appeal to the town's burgeoning professional community.
The project was marked by a commitment to the principles of sustainable construction and particular attention was given to selecting energy efficient heating. An essential part of this system was the use of highly thermally efficient Celotex TB4000 insulation integrated into the structure's prefabricated timber frame to create an effective thermal shell that would supplement the energy savings of the green heating system.
A highly challenging project, enhanced by its town centre location and position next to the river deemed a SSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest), the development, features 46 apartments, a number of retail and commercial units and a basement car park for residents and also the neighbouring hotel. Built from in-situ concrete up to first floor, the timber frame and Celotex insulation was used to create the structure of the remaining building.
The timber frame that provided the skeleton of the apartment block was supplied by Eleco Timber Frame. These patented open frames, manufactured from timber from sustainable sources, use nail plates to create a more rigid structure whilst reducing material costs. Factory produced, the timber frame solution offers a modern method of fast track construction whilst meeting the project's sustainable targets.
The frame was a perfect match for the architect-specified Celotex insulation boards. With the timber frame reducing the need for wooden supports beneath ceiling beams, the insulation creates a more thermally efficient building envelope. This is because, rather than slotting insulation into many timber cavities, creating gaps and risking a non-airtight thermal envelope that would transmit cold, the insulation could be taped together in the larger spaces between load bearing beams, forming a highly effective thermal shell.
The timber frame system also enables the creation of a slim wall profile which was further enhanced by the thin, yet high performance Celotex insulation boards. The Celotex TB4000 boards are available in a range of thicknesses, from 12mm to 45mm, making it the thinnest polyisocyanurate (PIR) insulation on the market. Together with the timber frame, this enabled the creation of more saleable floor space.
The first PIR insulation to be rated A+ when compared to the BRE Green Guide 2008, the Celotex TB4000 boards provide more effective insulation per mm than most materials, including mineral wools. This means that the foil faced 45mm boards play a crucial part in reducing the Kentgate development's need for heating, thereby lowering costs and reducing carbon emissions.
The boards also have low Global Warming Potential and zero Ozone Depletion Potential. Combined with astonishing longevity, this means that Celotex insulation is an ideal addition to any project looking for environmentally conscious insulation.
The apartments at Kentgate are being swiftly taken by residents who want to move into the well conceived development. Featuring bespoke interiors planned by top designers and situated in a beautiful location in the heart of Kendal's cosmopolitan yet traditional centre, the flats are widely regarded as hot property - all the more so due to the amazing thermal properties of Celotex' environmentally beneficial TB4000 insulation boards.

Celotex Sustainability
Celotex, the home of high performance PIR insulation, places the upmost importance on the issue of sustainable development.

Operating within the construction industry and as a leading investor within the insulation sector, Celotex PIR insulation remains at the forefront of energy efficiency and sustainable construction.
Did you know?
• Energy used in homes is responsible for over 25% of the UK's CO2 emissions
• Changes to 2010 UK Building Regulations require a 25% - 30% reduction in CO2 emissions
• The number of fuel poor households doubled to 4.5 million between 2002 and 2008. A household is deemed fuel poor if it spends more than 10% of its income keeping warm
• 45% of heat is lost through uninsulated solid walls. Installing solid wall insulation nationwide could save up to 14m tonnes of CO2. That's the equivalent emissions of 3.5 million cars!
• 2.3 million solid wall installations are required by 2022 to meet current climate change targets
• High performance thermal insulation continues to be one of the most cost effective measures for improving thermal efficiency and tackling climate change
Be it for new buildings or the refurbishment of existing stock, Celotex insulation provides some of the best solutions to assist with the reduction in carbon emissions and is committed to helping the industry achieve its reduction targets as well as reducing fuel poverty.
Celotex insulation offers low carbon sustainable solutions including:
• An approved BRE Environmental Profile delivering an environmental impact 15% better than that of typical PIR
• The first PIR manufacturer to achieve an A+ BRE Green Guide Rating
• Thermal performance as low as 0.021 W/mK with Celotex FR5000 and CG5000, providing premium thermal efficiency for low U-values and maximising energy savings
• Products that save over 100 times more energy than that used for manufacture
• Credits within the relevant categories of programmes such as the Code for Sustainable Homes and BREEAM
• Certification to the Environmental Management System ISO 14001 highlighting further our commitment to the principles of sustainability
• Third party approvals from leading industry organisations including BBA, BRE, ISO and Ofgem
• Product thicknesses from 12mm to 200mm offering the broadest range of solutions suitable for new build and refurbishment projects
• Low GWP and zero ODP ratings across all products


Kind regards,


by MoCCconsultant on May 7th at 11:49am


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